EUMETSAT extends Jason-2 operations and approves contracts for the deployment of EPS-Second Generation and the improvement of data access services

At its 87th session, the EUMETSAT Council approved the extension of Jason-2 operations and contracts required to deploy the EPS Second Generation (EPS-SG) system in the early 2020’s and improve access to EUMETSAT and Copernicus data.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Jason-2 high-precision ocean altimetry mission launched in 2008 and exploited in partnership with NOAA, NASA and CNES was extended for two years, from 1 January 2018 until the end of 2019, to complement Jason-3, operational since July 2016. 

The Council also welcomed Ireland as the 16th Participating State in the Jason-CS Programme, the contribution of EUMETSAT to the cooperative Sentinel-6 mission expected to replace Jason-3 in 2021. The mission involves also ESA, the European Union and the United States through NASA and NOAA.

A key milestone towards the initial deployment of the EUMETSAT Polar System of Second Generation (EPS-SG) was passed with the award of contracts to Arianespace and Telespazio for the launch services and the Launch and Early Operations (LEOP) services for the first pair of Metop-SG satellites plus one spare satellite.

The first two Metop-SG satellites will be launched from Kourou by Soyuz, and the contract with Arianespace also offers EUMETSAT the possibility to use Ariane-62 for the third satellite. 

To improve access to EUMETSAT and Copernicus data, the Council approved a contract to extend the EUMETCast-Africa data broadcasting service with higher bandwidth and arrangements with ECMWF and Mercator-Ocean for the deployment of a distributed Copernicus Data and Information Access Service (DIAS) platform on behalf of the European Union. 


The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 30 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and one Cooperating State (Serbia).

EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-9, -10 and -11 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-8 over the Indian Ocean.

EUMETSAT operates two Metop polar-orbiting satellites as part of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) shared with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

EUMETSAT is also a partner in the cooperative high precision ocean altimetry Jason missions involving Europe and the United States (Jason-2, Jason-3 and Jason-CS/Sentinel-6).

The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites are vital to weather forecasting and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of environment and climate change.

The European Union has entrusted EUMETSAT with exploiting the four Sentinel missions of the Copernicus space component dedicated to the monitoring of atmosphere, ocean and climate on its behalf. EUMETSAT will carry out these tasks in cooperation with ESA.

EUMETSAT has established cooperation with operators of Earth Observation satellites from Europe and China, India, Japan, Russia and the United States.

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